The legal team representing former President Donald Trump claims that the impeachment is unconstitutional. Trump's lawyers argue that it violates his First Amendment rights.
Bruce Castore, David Schoen, and Michael van der Veen make up Trump's legal team. They are urging the Senate to dismiss the impeachment charges and acquit the former president. They say that a trial such as Trump’s goes against “what the Framers wanted or what the Constitution allows.”
The former president’s team of attorneys rolled out a memo on Monday. In the 78-page document, they laid out their case, opposing the effort to impeach Trump even after his term.
Legal Team Releases 78-Page Memo on Trump Impeachment
In the memo, the lawyers pointed out that an impeachment conviction means that there is a possibility to remove an official from office. They added that without such a possibility, “there cannot be a trial.”
Trump’s attorneys then said that the Senate has no authority to conduct a trial for a private citizen. They cited Article 1 Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution, stating that Congress has no authority to determine the guild of a private citizen. With this, it also stated that Congress has no power to set punishment. It noted that only the independent judiciary has this authority.
Apart from this argument, Trump’s lawyers also mentioned that the former president's First Amendment rights protected the speech he made on the day of the Capitol siege. They then added that conducting a trial for this would be a “grave injustice to the freedom of speech in this country.”
The article of impeachment set by Democrats in the House was allegedly made based on a false analysis of Trump’s Jan. 6 speech, as per Trump’s legal team.
They say that the former president only used “fight” a few times and “each time in the figurative sense.” They also noted that Trump asked his supporters to “peacefully and patriotically use their voices” to protest.
Trump’s lawyers also noted in the memo that law enforcement at Capitol Hill already received reports of a potential attack even before Trump made his speech. The memo says that the mob “who criminally breached the Capitol” did so willingly.
With this, they are trying to prove a point that the former president’s speech did not cause the mobbing. They also say this couldn’t be the case as riots already started even before his speech was finished.